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In 1972 the height of 7601 children aged five to 11.5 years in England and of 2214 in Scotland was measured. Their parents were asked to complete a questionnaire to provide social and antrhopometric information. A sequence of linear models was fitted to the data to assess the associations between social and biological factors and height. At the time of the study it was found that sibship size, father's social class, and his employment status all had a significant relationship with child's height; however, parents' height and child's birthweight both accounted for relatively more of the variance in child's height than father's social class and employment status. In England, sibship size significantly influenced the height of children of manual workers, but not that of nonmanual workers' children. In Scotland, sibship size was associated with height in all social groups. Surveillance and possibly intervention in a wide range of activities should be directed at socially more deprived groups; for example, in Social Class V, in which there are more large families and unemployment is more common.

Original publication




Journal article


J epidemiol community health

Publication Date





147 - 154


Birth Weight, Body Height, Child, Child, Preschool, England, Female, Humans, Male, Occupations, Parents, Scotland, Social Class, Unemployment